After living in the Ruka for the last (almost) 9 months, one of the biggest roadblocks to intentional living that I have found has come in the (often painful) realization that we all have different needs from this house.
What do I mean by “needs”? That word sounds pretty cult-ish, and since I spend most of my time trying to convince my friends and family that I do not in fact live in a cult/hippie commune/etc., I want to define it carefully. What I mean by “needs”, is our own specific reasons for joining the Ruka house, what each of us have hoped to gain out of living together, and where we have hoped to grow personally during this year.
For myself, I look to the Ruka as a home, a space where I can come to at the end of a long day and relax, a space where I can hide from Rhodes, from my job at Huey’s, and from my worries and be at home. I don’t need the Ruka to be my entire social circle (although it is since most of my best friends are my 4 roommates), and I don’t need the house (the physical space) to be an outreach of my personal ministry.
I can’t speak for Claire, Abbey, Iris, or Sarah, but I believe that if they were to answer this same question, they would each have a unique answer. They each bring a unique perspective to the house, of how they view their involvement, how they process the physical space, and what they need from this intentional community.
“Graduating” from the Ruka (as I refer to it in my mind), will for me be a launch into a completely different intentional community. I have signed up next year to be a part of the Episcopal Service Corps- Creation Care Program at Camp Mokule’ia in Oahu, Hawaii where I will be living (in a yurt!) with 4 other people in an intentional community for a year.
Preparing for this next step, I know that one of the first discussions I will have with my yurt-mates (seems more appropriate than the term “roommates”) will be over what we all hope to get out of our year together, and what we all need from the community.
Here’s to the last two months in the Ruka!